Monday, July 23, 2007

I was shocked and saddened to hear this morning of the death of a great singer and truly nice man, Jerry Hadley.

A popular principal tenor at the Met, New York City Opera, and other opera venues around the world, he was the possessor of a fine vocal instrument, and a talented interpreter of classical, semi-classical, and pop music. Simply put, he could sing just about anything with style, tone, sensitivity and verve!

He could also charm, both onstage and off.

I attended a small semi-private recital he did several years ago, and had the chance to chat with him afterwards. He was warm and gracious, friendly, open and witty.

In a self-deprecating way, he spoke of meeting Paul McCartney when he was about to record McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio . Thrilled and somewhat awe-struck at meeting the legendary super-star, he was amazed when one of the world's best-known people walked up to him and quietly said, "Hi, I'm Paul McCartney."

Hadley told me that one of his favorite recordings was doing the complete score of Show Boat. He said it was great fun to do and that he was so proud of the way it turned out. He said that he and his wife, who was his piano accompanist at the time, spent much of the year travelling, and lived in Vienna when they could.

By the way, he did this recital not for money but as a favor to a friend who had studied music with him when they were in college. That's the way I'll remember Jerry Hadley--fine singer, fine gentleman.


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